It’s funny when you think anyone could refer to a phone with a 5.2-inch screen as “mini”. But with the ZTE Axon 7 Mini and many other so-called diminutive devices, smallness is about cost and scaled-back hardware goods even more than it is about size.
On the outside, the all-metal 5.5-inch ZTE Axon 7 flagship and this mostly-metal 7 Mini look almost identical. Look closely and you spot a textured plastic material on the double speaker grilles.
Does this Axon 7 Mini look ‘mini’ to you?
Inside, the Mini has been almost completely rebuilt. The ZTE-inflected Android software, fingerprint reader (with NFC support) and front-facing camera are the same. Everything else is scaled-back, from the main camera and processor (which won’t support Google Daydream, unlike the Axon 7) to the phone’s battery-charging speed, and yes, the battery capacity itself.
What you get in exchange is a really good-looking device in gold or grey, that will cost €249 when it comes to Europe and China this month (we don’t have prices in RMB) and $300 when it comes to the US in October through direct-to-consumer channels. The price in Euros converts to about £215 and AU$370.